This black and white amateur silent film, shot by one Otto Hangartner in July of 1926 and labeled for potential sale to exhibitors captures lodge member activities of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, including a parade featuring floats and other elks from Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, Montana, Texas, and Ohio. A brief travelogue tour of Chicago with decorative title cards follows (TRT: 16:03).
Opening title card with an image of an elk (0:09). “It was the climax of the sixty-second reunion of the Brotherhood of Bills, the men who came from every state in the union to see Chiacago go– and to bring with them the spirit of their natal states” (0:20). “Indiana won the trophy for the finest float in the opinion of the judges. Cloverland, Mich. was second, Philadelphia, third, Oakland Cal. fourth, and Ohio state fifth” (0:31). “View of Elks Memorial from the distance.” A waterfront dock. A woman and child pass in the foreground. In the background, the “Grand Lodge” (0:42). In closeup: Elks National Veterans Memorial and Headquarters, overlooking Lincoln Park, near Lake Michigan (1:16). “Chicago Police and American Legion heading parade.” Policemen on motorcycles ride. Uniformed United States Veterans of the American Legion follow on horseback with U.S. flags (1:41). Machine police officers and veterans in period military uniforms from the army and navy of the World War I era (2:17). Parade floats appear. A float in the shape of a ship with a decoy elk at the bow, festooned with flowers. A banner: “Elks go about doing good” (2:38). “Chicago beauty float representing charity, justice, brotherly love, fidelity.” Another elk-based float ridden by reclining women, posing (2:44). “Oak Park, Ill.” A marching band led by a baton-twirling drum major. Bagpipers. A paper mâché football. Men in straw boater hats (3:05). “La Grange, Ill.” Men in tennis outfits and a floral float with costumed riders (3:43). “Colonel Fisher and Wm. J. Sinek, Grand Esquire.” A man in uniform followed by riders in white (4:07). “Kankakee, Ill.” A marching band led by a drum line (4:28). “Kewanee, Ill.” A modestly decorated car carries umbrellas and an elk (5:08). “Rockford, Ill.” A small sports motorcar and a wide line of snare drummers (5:15). “Philadelphia, Pa. 3rd Prize.” Colonial Revolutionary War-era costumes with capes and cars piled high with floral arrangements. Bouncing, regal and a group carrying a sort of parachute (5:47). “California, Oakland, 4th Prize.” Cowboy outfits with 10-gallon hats and chaps. Paraders carry letters spelling, “Oakland.” A float features veiled women and multiple elks (7:30). “Washington, D.C.” Another American Revolution-styled float on a horse-drawn carriage (7:53). “Montana” cowboys. “Texas” elks march in offensive “redface” feathers, warpaint, etc., in a crude impersonation of Native Americans (8:17). “Indiana, Hoosier State, 1st Prize” A float with multiple elks pulling a garland-draped “sleigh” ridden by a beauty queen (8:40). Modest “Ohio, 5th Prize” and “Cloverland, Mi.” Cloverland takes a carnivalesque approach, with clowns, skeletons, and Model T automobiles (9:01). Title: “Copies of these pictures can be obtained from Otto Hangartner, 5011 N. Sawyer Ave. Chicago, Phone Irving 6816” (9:34). “Chicago, Part 3. The Municipal Pier where a cool breeze blows at all times.” Urban architecture and pier signage. A trolley style streetcar (9:38). “View of Chicago Gold Coast.” Riders on horseback. A waterfront vista (10:00). Lincoln Park. A statue of Abraham Lincoln. A log bridge (11:00). “Grant Monument” and its equestrian statue. “Glimpses of the Zoo.” Enclosed bison graze behind a fence. A reindeer, oxen, a goat on a leash, a zebra (11:50). “Chicago, Part 4.” Male lions at rest, pacing behind bars. The zebra in closeup. A musk ox. Turkeys (13:13). A polar bear (14:45). An aviary exterior “The New Elk’s Monumen” (15:24). “Edgewater Beach Hotel, W.E.B.H.” (15:40).